There are few experiences as rewarding as looking out on the London skyline from a choice vantage. Since The Shard opened on February 1, one of the best views of London on offer can be experienced from its 244 metre-high viewing gallery. But if you fancy taking in the sights on a budget, there are plenty of other fantastic views that charge a pittance, or cost nothing at all. Liz Walsh from Top Dog Days has put together a few of her favourite ways to enjoy the views of London on a budget.
The Monument The Monument was built in the heart of London to commemorate the 1666 Great Fire of London. Its height matches the distance from its base to the place where the fire started, on Pudding Mill Lane, and it offers a fantastic view of the city at a budget price. Climb the 311 steps to the top of the Monument and take in this lofty view of London’s historic sights. On a good day, you can see as far as Crystal Palace. With tickets priced at just £3 an adult & £1.50 a child, it's a great budget option for the family. Learn more about the Monument here Parliament Hill Take in the London skyline for free from the top of Parliament Hill. You’ll find it in the south east corner of Hampstead Heath, and it stands at 98 metres (322 ft) in height, offering excellent views of London including St Paul’s Cathedral, Canary Wharf & the City of London. Parliament Hill has also become known as a great spot to fly a kite where you can generally count on a good breeze. Bring along your own kite & join in the fun or just sit back and enjoy the views. The choice is yours. Your closest tube for Parliament Hill is Kentish Town. Learn more about Parliament Hill here London Cable Cars The Emirates Air Line opened in 2012 and offers you a new mode of transport over the River Thames. It runs between Greenwich and the historic London Docks reaching a maximum height of 90 metres. Take in views of the Olympic Stadium, Canary Wharf and the City of London as well as the O2 arena, all at a budget price. This 1.1km journey across the Thames takes approximately 10 minutes each way with tickets priced at £4.30 an adult or £2.20 a child for a single journey. Further discounts are available for those travelling with a Travel or Oyster card. Learn more about London Cable Cars here Greenwich Park Take in the London skyline from Greenwich Park. It’s the oldest enclosed Royal Park, and dates back to 1427. Follow the meandering path to the Greenwich Royal Observatory and take in the views across the River Thames including St Paul's Cathedral, Canary Wharf & The O2. Learn more about Greenwich Park here One New Change Treat yourself to a fantastic view of one of London’s most famous cathedrals. While climbing to the top of St Paul’s Cathedral itself will cost you, you can climb to the roof terrace of the One New Change Shopping Centre directly opposite for free, and feast your eyes upon Wren’s masterpiece for a tidy zero pounds. In case you were wondering, its name is also its address: 1, New Change, just off Cheapside. Learn more about One New Change here